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dannyc's avatar

Is it really necessary anymore to sing national anthems at sports events?

Asked by dannyc (5223points) May 24th, 2009

They are after all, just games. I see a national anthem really has very little to do with two teams, in the case of NHL or NFL, who really are trying to maim, to at least a certain extent, players on another squad. Also, and this may not be popular, I see little point in singing the national anthems at Olympics, which are more about what country is “better” because they churn out more gold medals than some other country.

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33 Answers

TheTips2's avatar

What do you mean anymore? Were they every necessary? No, we just do it out of respect, and to show sportsmanship. After all the other countries do it too.

Kap89's avatar

yes, singing the nation anthem is tradition. what do you mean anymore? what has changed? we should still pay respect to our country, why would that change?

ragingloli's avatar

I wouldn’t want to do that ever. Everytime i see people do that I automatically have a picture of Hitler at the olympic games in my head.

Jeruba's avatar

I deplore the fact that some people have used patriotic gestures and emblems in a cynical and manipulative fashion for their own purposes. There have always been those who abused the love of homeland and its symbols in this way, causing others to react against them. But I do not think that patriotism is ever a matter of fashion or that our national anthem should ever go out of style. So I’m with TheTips12 in asking: why “anymore”?

eponymoushipster's avatar

no, there’s no reason for it. i try to show up 5–10 min late at sporting events (on the rare occasion i go) so that i don’t have to go through the spiel. It has nothing to do with the game, or the sport. Most of the US sports leagues have Canadian teams (MLB, NBA, NHL) – and i don’t recall both being played at any events i’ve seen on tv.

it’s employing patriotism to work people up.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve always been appreciative of the fact that they play the national anthem at sporting events. For me, it is a reminder that I live in the greatest country in the world and also that I can be free to go to sporting events and things like this which isn’t the norm in some other countries around the world. Additionally, our national anthem is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Two minutes out of everyone’s time to listen to it before events take place isn’t too much to ask for. It’s patriotic too and there isn’t anything wrong with that either.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

We go to figure-8 races a lot during the summer. We stand as the national anthem is being played before every race starts. I mouth the words to myself. I don’t care how many times I do it, I get chill bumps & a lump in my throat. It’s our right to sing it, & it shows respect for our country where a large crowd of people are gathered. The silence that falls over the crowd is great. It unites us. It shows that we care for our country & the men & women who wear the uniforms day in & day out to ensure us that we can go to those sporting events & feel safe.

dannyc's avatar

By anymore I mean that in my opinion, the rationale to probably have ever started it was fairly weak. With sports more being just a business these days it is just not essential and should be left for a political event or daily school. Sports and patriotism are a bad mix, in my opinion, and are responsible for division more than might be apparent, especially the Olympics. I want to emphasize i have great respect for all countries and their anthems, but I see little point in trumpeting them at sports events.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@ragingloli Hitler??? Good God!

rooeytoo's avatar

I never really thought about it but now that you bring it up, it does make me wonder. If it is played at sporting events, why not at other public gatherings, maybe at the movie theatre. And as you say why not the Canadian anthem when their teams are playing in the USA.

ragingloli's avatar

@Bluefreedom
“For me, it is a reminder that I live in the greatest country in the world”
Everyone knows that Germany is the greatest country in the world, no the whole universe!

Bluefreedom's avatar

@ragingloli. Um, whatever you say…...<<<utter disbelief happening>>>

dannyc's avatar

@Bluefreedom I admire your patriotism and the feelings the national anthem brings. particularly appropriate as America celebrates their Memorial Day. As a Canadian, I am also appreciative of what was achieved in the name of freedom by our American friends. However, I would say, with no disrespect intended, that every citizen in the rest of the world also feels their country is as good as yours, so I may quibble with your choice of the word “best”. Among the best no doubt, in my opinion. But I do know what you mean.

Ivan's avatar

@Bluefreedom

Yup, that’s how people feel when you start saying your country is the best in the world.

asmonet's avatar

I am no fan of sports, I do not willingly watch any event on tv, and very rarely in person. Everything about it bores me to death, however I can respect the place sports have in our society, and in cultures around the world. I understand the reasoning behind linking sports and patriotism- and it’s pretty obvious, they’re well suited to each other. I understand it’s function and can leave it be because of that.

I don’t think you understand sports, and it’s pretty clear you look down on them a bit.

Why do you care if they sing or not?

whatthefluther's avatar

@eponymoushipster…Since you are always late, you have missed the fact that both national anthems are played when competing teams are from both the USA and Canada in all major league.sports to my knowledge (unless something has changed in the last 10 years or so…I don’t get out much anymore and rarely watch sports on tv,where they don’t always broadcast the anthems). See ya…wtf

eponymoushipster's avatar

@whatthefluther yeah, probably have missed that. but, moving on from that, what’s the purpose then? Is one country better than another? Players have prayer meetings on both sides of the field – does God care if the Raptors beat the Bulls? My guess is He couldn’t care less. Adding patriotic fervor to a sporting event is nonsense.

Unless, of course, the government wants to give me free tickets and fund it themselves. Then they have the right to do that.

I agree with what an earlier commenter said – Why not do this, therefore, before any entertainment event – concerts, movies, etc? Why are sports so special?

whatthefluther's avatar

@eponymoushipster…Very fair questions requiring more thought on my part before I respond. May I ask one more question? Why don’t we hear a Dominican Republic, or Mexican or Cuban (and others) national anthems at baseball games in respect for the rather large number of players that call those countries home? There are probably Canadian teams with little to no players calling Canada home. Do we play their anthem out of respect for the owners (good chance they are not Canadian) or their fans (good chance many off them are not Canadian, as well). Just some more food for thought. See ya…wtf

dannyc's avatar

@asmonet Actually I am a sports nut..so that part is not correct. I devour sports. The fact that sports and patriotism are linked, is, of course, true, but should not be. That is what I am asking in essence.

asmonet's avatar

Well, I may have been incorrect in my assumption that you looked down on them, but I still don’t think you understand the link or their place in society. You’re not really asking a question, you’re stating an opinion.

dannyc's avatar

I understand it, just think it is time to change it. Hence I asked the question. If people disagree, that is fine.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Is the national anthem before a sporting event a problem or a mere annoyance to some fans?
I don’t see the problem with it.

Ivan's avatar

@asmonet

“I do not willingly watch any event on tv, and very rarely in person.”
“I don’t think you understand sports”

:S

Bluefreedom's avatar

@dannyc. It’s true that I’m biased toward America being the ‘best’ in my eyes not only because I was born here but because I’m a member of her military also. I certainly do realize also that anyone not from America is going to be passionate about their home country being the ‘best’ also. I’d be doing myself and my views an injustice, though, if I were to second guess how strongly I feel about how excellent a country the United States is.

(Disclaimer – America has a lot of big problems and it’s not perfect by any means but I can think of many things that make it better than many other countries around the world.)

I noticed also that you stated you’re from Canada. I’ve visited there many times and it’s been a very pleasurable experience each and every time. Canada is a very beautiful country too.

dannyc's avatar

@Bluefreedom . I respect you greatly. My dad was veteran in Canada, wounded in WW 11. now passed. On our Remembrance, on Nov. 11, we weep for the freedom fighters just as you do, I believe America is our best friend and ally. It is a fantastic place with amazing people. I see your point though. I think Canadians are less patriotic than our American friends, so perhaps your singing of the national anthem may be more important, not sure.It is intriguing to me, though.

asmonet's avatar

@Ivan: I never said I had never been a fan – just that I am not one now, or that I was referring to how sports are played, something he obviously understands. I was referring to the understanding of it’s place in society and how it’s linked to patriotism.

My being a fan or not is irrelevant.

Darwin's avatar

Down here in southern Texas we like ice hockey. 99% of our players (and those on the teams we play) are Canadian, usually French Canadian. Generally anywhere from 1/3 to more than half the audience is Mexican by heritage, birth or citizenship. So, we hang the US, Canadian and Mexican flags over the rink, and play The Star Spangled Banner followed by Oh, Canada at home games. However, we don’t play the Himno Nacional Mexicano but I don’t know why. It could simply be that we don’t want the hockey players to get mad and refuse to play.

One thing I’ll say is that Oh, Canada is an easier to sing than the US anthem.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@dannyc. I think the national anthem holds a large variety of dinstinctions to many different people as evidenced in this thread here. With that in mind, it does seem intriguing just like you mentioned and I think there are a lot of really good answers to your question here. (Great question, by the way, in my opinion).

dannyc's avatar

@asmonet . I am the type of person who takes criticism well. If you feel that I don’t understand, I respect your opinion. No need to explain, at least to me. One point though, I honestly asked the question, seeking your answer. My opinion can be changed based upon the information I receive. In fact, that is what I like about the site. Unfortunately, these snippets or questions would make it difficult for you to probably formulate any opinion on what I understand. I ask no question without looking for feedback so I may learn more. I do test the boundaries of what is the perceived social norms, and many of my questions will be slanted and perhaps controversial. At least, that is the evidence so far in responses I receive. But damn, this is a fascinating place with fascinating people.

asmonet's avatar

Well, I’m glad you found Fluther then. But asking a question the way you have, which seems to me to be more of a statement of your opinions:

“The fact that sports and patriotism are linked, is, of course, true, but should not be. That is what I am asking in essence.”

…Is not really something I care for, nor is it really something I’ve seen Fluther go for. I’m surprised at how well this question was received to be honest. I just didn’t think you were approaching the real questions that led to this. If you want to know if it’s necessary to have the anthem sung, you have to ask why it’s sung, what function it served and the like. I didn’t see that happening, and that’s where my opinion of the your understanding of the subject came into play. This thread just went in a separate direction than I was interpreting it. Sorry, if I gave the wrong impression.

I hope more people come here and tackle the issue you’ve brought up, you all seem to be enjoying it. And you seem like a nice enough dude…So, I’m bowing out. Seeya. :)

dannyc's avatar

@asmonet. Actually the part you cite was not my question, but just agreeing with you that they were linked as you espoused in your answer. But I will take your information regarding questions to heart and ponder if i am asking in as concise a manner to avoid confusion and generate the best feedback. I hope to dialogue again with you in future.

Darwin's avatar

I would much rather see countries compete on the sports field than on the battlefield, so I think we should encourage the links between patriotism and sports.

dannyc's avatar

@Darwin .. in that context, very true.

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